Becoming What We Think About–
I was reintroduced to this idea (we find what we look for) a few weeks ago. I received my business cards in the mail and upon opening them, I was super excited. I then noticed a minor defect in the prints. I sent an email to their customer service department explaining the situation and within minutes I had a response that blew me away. No questions asked, they were already processing a new order, free of charge.
The next week I received the new box, and with similar excitement, I opened it up, revealing the defect had moved to the other side of the card. I once again emailed the customer service department. My message began with gratitude for their amazing support and then identifying the mistake. Within 30 minutes and a few reviews from each of us, we realized I had made the mistake in the design process. I fixed the design, resubmitted and they reprinted and shipped the third box, at no additional cost.
I am now a lifelong customer because of how they treated me. They were empathetic and valued me over revenue. But what part did I play in this?
We find what we search for. In this case, I continued searching for great customer service, and that is exactly what I received. Actually, I was given more opportunities to practice just that. At the time, my overall intention was creating a business that valued people over all else. This focus offered me the opportunity to experience that from the customer side.
Was it frustrating? Sure. I mean, my time is valuable and I was unable to give my business cards out. However, if I had focused on the frustration, on the “they keep messing up my order”, on the complaining about things that are out of my control, then I would have been offered more opportunities to complain. I would have not received such genuine customer service, which would have led to me complaining about the person, then about their supervisor, then about their process, and the list goes on.
These become so habitual that we don’t even realize we are falling into the same trap. They are paradigms that were formed throughout our lives and we have taken them on as our own. We truly have become accustomed to the chemical release within our bodies when we engage in the behavior that it just feels natural.
But on the flip side, none of us want to live in this place. None of us, at our core, want to seek conflict. None of us want to seek the worst in situations, and more importantly, in other people. So, how do we flip our script and begin to see the good in each (ok, most) situations?
Become conscious of your thoughts. It is as simple and complex as that. When you take a moment to become aware of your habitual thoughts (the 95% of your thoughts running in your subconscious), your analytical mind then has the ability to recognize the traps in which you have been placing yourself. There are many tools you can use to begin changing your mindset by utilizing your different levels of brainwaves (theta, for example), but for the sake of this post, let’s start by just recognizing we need to change.
Once we “see” what we’ve been thinking about, we are able to identify the traps we continuously fall into. We are then able to understand what Earl Nightingale meant when he said, “you become what you think about all day long”. These opportunities that we “see” perpetually and continuously form our state of being, which then leads to our personality.
Understanding this allows us to identify the process changes needed in order to change the outcome. We tend to see the outcome and want to change that outcome now, by either changing the wrong parts to the process or not changing it at all.
Start by seeing your habitual thoughts, recognizing them in real time, or in the moment when we are exclaiming to someone that we are right and they are wrong. Once we see it, focus on the trajectory in which this thought will take us down. At that moment, we have two options: 1. Continue down the path and feed ourselves with the familiar emotional cocktail (REACT), or 2. Stop. Think. And go down a new path. One that brings life (RESPOND).
Once we see it, change can occur. Once we see it, life can expand. Once we see it, we see more of what we want, because we begin to think about it. And, we become what we think about.
Be well, Be love,